View Full Version : Sick Mouse is not eating - need advice

04-07-15, 03:24 pm
Hi everyone,

Mouse (the guinea pig girl) has not been eating well and I took her to the vet. The front incisors were slanted on both top and bottom which was causing her pain while eating so the vet dremelled just a tiny bit off one tooth on the top and one on the bottom to make them more straight. I know teeth trimming is not necessary in most cases but my vet is an exotics specialist, so hopefully everything will be okay. Then they gave her subQ fluids.

Unfortunately, Mouse is still not eating. Even her lettuce and green peppers she seems to be interested in, but won't take the matchstick size. I force fed her Critical Care, some went in, some dribbled out. Then gave her an antibiotic SMZ for a just-starting URI (from the stress the vet said).

I would call the vet, but they are closed. Do I give her some Reglan? Or pain med? I read the sticky on GI stasis here. She just doesn't seem to be happier than she was before and won't eat hay from my hand.

04-07-15, 05:54 pm
Unfortunately, I don't think much of your exotic vet. When a guinea pig's front teeth are slanted, it's almost always because there's something wrong with the back teeth. Unless he did x-rays (top and side) and a good examination of the back teeth with her mouth propped open, he hasn't done an adequate dental exam.

You are close enough to Detroit that there should be several exotic vets available. Google "exotic vets detroit" (without the quotes) and see if you can come up with another one.

04-07-15, 06:51 pm
She did open Mouse's mouth and used separator so to check the molars and said they were very good. I did ask if we needed X-rays to check the roots but she said no. Sigh. I should have insisted. I am going in tomorrow and will get X-rays for sure. There are two exotics at my place so after checking online for a new one, if I can't find another I will insist on a double consult and X-rays.

For tonight, I have her on a vibrating pillow, massaged her tummy (but not enough to produce feces), fed her critical care 3ml, 30 ml of vit c in water. now I am waiting for something to come out.

what do I need to do overnight?

04-07-15, 07:12 pm
She couldn't have seen elongated roots by looking in the mouth. Only x-rays from the side would do that.

If she's not eating at all, you need to hand feed her. You might be able to get Critical Care from the vet, but in the meantime, you can soak some pellets and make a slurry. If you need to, flavor it with something she really likes. See http://www.guinealynx.info/handfeeding.html on how to do that. If she's not eating anything at all, you'll need to get 50-60 cc of slurry or Critical Car per kilogram of weight into her.

She won't like it, but you have no choice. A guinea pig that's not eating is a guinea pig that's dying. You won't be torturing her, you'll be saving her life.

04-07-15, 07:19 pm
I have critical care and have been hand feeding her. She had been eating a small bit, but now seems like nothing. She is eating something in my lap. She is covered so I can't see what it is, hay, Cecal, or lettuce.

I found a small mammal vet from the guinea lynx link and will call him tomorrow am. Going to read more at guinea lynx. I know the doc can't see elongated roots but I thought that. Maybe the angle of the tooth orwear pattern would say there is. A problem with the roots.

04-07-15, 07:27 pm
No, the wear pattern of the front teeth will only tell you that there's a problem with the back teeth. If the problem is on one side, they may be slanted one way or the other. But if they're not eating and can't pick up food, the problem is likely bilateral. A one-sided problem can be an abscess. Elongated roots and overgrown molars are more likely to be two-sided.

04-07-15, 08:24 pm
I gave Mouse 5 ml at 8:30 and 10ml of critical care just now. She had two poops, one she ate and th other is harder than normal and shaped a little flatter. at least she pooped! Then I massaged her and she peed a little on me. Put her in her 2x3 newly cleaned sectioned off cage. Her sisters are not sure they like her in there. She is running around and her hair is not puffing up right now. I will be checking on her throughout the night since I haven't seen her eat her hay on her own yet.

04-07-15, 08:41 pm
Will she eat any veggies at all? Sometimes something they like that has a strong flavor, like parsley or cilantro or carrot, will stimulate them to keep eating.

04-07-15, 08:54 pm
So far no lettuce or apple would get her to actually bite. I have cilantro and will try that right now.

04-07-15, 09:17 pm
I have some good news! When I went over there she had a piece of hay in her mouth. My goodness, the excitement of having cilantro at night put the whole herd in a frenzy! lol but it worked. Mouse ate the stems of cilantro with vigor. She could not somehow get the leaves into her mouth and if one did get in there, it came back out quickly.

She also pooped. There were 5 little ones all mushed together and it was soft, like a normal poo.

Do I stay up all night and watch her? Still continue the critical care because we don't know how much hay she will eat?

04-07-15, 09:25 pm
Don't stay up all night, but do set your alarm and get up every three hours or so and see if you can get her to eat. It may also help to cut some food into matchstick-sized slivers and stuff them into her mouth so they reach her molars. If she can get the food with the molars, she may be able to chew well enough to eat.

You're doing well with her -- hang in there.

04-07-15, 09:30 pm
Thank you so much for all your help! It really makes me feel good to hear you say I am doing well with her. it means a lot to me. I have green peppers and carrots to try. i'll start with the peppers because they are softer. Ah well, this is going to be like having a newborn again, getting up every 3 hours, lol.

04-08-15, 01:04 am
three am feeding: she hated being hand fed, but we did it anyway. ten mls given. she had 10 poos that were much better formed so we are getting on the right track. I'll update after the small animal dentist.

04-08-15, 07:52 am
Good luck. Ten cc. is a pretty good feeding. Take a nap when you get home!

04-08-15, 07:16 pm
Whew, what a long day! So, I tried getting in to a small mammal dentist, but couldn't for 3 days so I went to my vet and got X-rays pf her teeth and body. Side and top of body, side of teeth. Teeth were good, no abscess either. Spine was good along with other major organs and bones. The cecum was very large and the large bowel was empty - both are not good - as you would know.

Mouse seems to have GI stasis from what her X-rays showed. We could not see if there was a full or partial obstruction. She was sent home with pain meds (I insisted, but the vet agreed), Reglan, and fresh Critical Care. I am monitoring her closely.

i think the pain meds really helped. When I went to give her the Crticial care she actually turned her head towards it and ate maybe 10-12ml. Still wouldn't eat anything else. I fed her at my mom's house because I needed to pick up my son and when we got home I fed all of them their dinner time lettuce and…Mouse ate half of it herself!!!!!

I then checked later and found 4 or 5 long poos and the last one was slick looking, so there was liquid enough to let the poo out. Mouse did get more fluids at the vet. The poos were regular consistency. I haven't noticed any pee yet, but that could have slipped by me since we are on fleece. Nothing felt wet yet.

I am still going to check her tonight, but I need advice on what to do this evening to see if she is eating by herself (and then I can sleep once I know she is eating). How do I judge the hay and should I offer pellets? I assume counting the pellets. Please give me some details on how to handle tonight. (she won't need anymore medicine until tomorrow morning)

04-08-15, 07:26 pm
I'd say feed her all she'll eat if she's pooping at all. And I'd still get up again a couple of times in the night to check on whether she's eating.

It may help to put her on a vibrating pillow. Even an electric toothbrush will help. If you can do that a couple of time before bedtime, you might see better results.

04-08-15, 07:42 pm
I do have a large vibrating pad that I used yesterday, so I'll do it again. I will check her through the night. But how do I know she is eating?

04-09-15, 03:16 am
5 am update: Mouse is eating her pellets! More poos in the cage! I didn't give her Critical Care because she is eating on her own and has visibly gone potty. I haven't seen a dent in the hay pile yet so I there is still some ways to go. I am not sure if I give her Reglan again. She would be due for some this morning. What do you think?

04-09-15, 07:27 am
Keep it up, Mouse!

You can take her out of the cage and put her in a laundry basket with some of her favorite foods and see if she's eating. And yes, I'd give the reglan this morning.

04-09-15, 04:46 pm
Update for today: She is still eating pretty well, but not her hay. That will come. She was at the vet today because her poos were skinny and long shaped, but the vet believed this was to be expected. When the vet massaged Mouse's abdomen, it was much softer due to her having bowel movements over the night and she didn't squeak and get so upset as the day before.

I have her sectioned off in a 2x3 section of cage so I am able to see her poop and watch her veggie intake well. I clean the feces each time I check so I can monitor when or after what foods she is defecating.

She will be on Reglan for another 4 days and then I will see if she is back to her fabulous self, otherwise I have another 3 days of it left.
(and wait until you read my other post about all 4 girls!)

04-11-15, 12:22 pm
Hi again, I need some advice. Mouse is on Reglan and antibiotic SMZ. She is eating veggies and pellets on her own and some hay. We cannot catch her eating it, but some disappears. Her poos are getting better formed and lots of them, but now her urine spot is white powdery stuff. That means too much calcium, right?

She eats Oxbow pellets, green lettuce, carrots, and green peppers right now. I don't think she is drinking. What could be causing this and how do I get her to drink?

04-11-15, 08:17 pm
The first thing I'd do is take her off the Oxbow pellets and see if things improve. If so, you could order a small amount of KMS pellets and see how she does on those -- they have a different calcium source than Oxbow, and a lot of stone pigs do much better when eating them.

04-12-15, 07:45 am
They used to eat KMS pellets and I never had a problem so I'll order a small pack to see if they like the latest formulation. When KMS changed suppliers the girls didn't like the pellets, but now that KMS has further tweaked the formula I'll give them a try again.

04-13-15, 08:08 am
I know you're downriver but for future reference, Parkway Animal Hospital is the most experienced and cavy savy vets around. http://www.parkway-animal-hospital.com It's my understanding, from multiple sources, that they are the place to go for major problems. Not the cheapest though. Just thought I'd let ya know. :)

04-13-15, 01:09 pm
I had no idea barbaramudge. I recognize the name. Thanks for the info!

04-13-15, 01:11 pm
No problem! If you need cheaper options Dr Wilson in Sterling Heights has a couple good cavy savy docs on staff. :)

05-04-15, 05:40 pm
Mouse is all better, well, she has been. Today she got hay in between her eye and eyelid! Luckily, I got it out and we will be back to the vet tomorrow morning. Anything I can do in the meantime?